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Letter: New system needed to address solving our problems

We knew three to five decades back that we will be facing a huge housing shortage

New system needed to address solving our problems

Re: On managing crisis, challenges, planning, action

Why can’t we do better with our own expertise, and research? I am speaking specifically to our lack of a holistic approach in long term planning to address the many urgent crises facing facing us!

The issues/the basis:

Let me give you some concrete examples: we knew three to five decades back that we will be facing a huge housing shortage. We also knew there would be severe shortages in the areas of health, and an array of other professions and skills. These challenges may have been exacerbated by COVID, however, that added an additional burden but was NOT at the root. There were baby boomers leaving for retirement en masse, costs of education in various specialty fields, etc., a plethora of issues behind all of this. Even right now we have a severe shortage of doctors, health workers, skilled workers, even veterinarians. I am not “barking up the wrong tree” here! Add to this climatic, environmental disaster, housing, homeless — and don’t blame that one on immigration either! None of these we have planned for, albeit we were warned of these issues/crises decades ago, as well, like the song, “Oh, it’s only a matter of time”!

The plan and challenges to the problem:

A major hindrance to the “fix” is politics. Every four years governments get in the way of independent, creative ideas and implementation. Party and individual agendas, and yes greed, create a huge barrier, frustration and stagnation to progressive, creative solutions. So, imagine if you will, better yet, just suppose we committed to, a “new plan”? A think-tank/planning/response commission, with the best and brightest minds in various areas: science, medicine (and related areas), engineering, energy, emergency response, disaster relief, education, housing. Each (empowered/apolitical) committee would meet, plan, and brainstorm within their designated group. They would address issues, challenges, and urgent responses to their field. Develop real action plans. They would then gather into the larger groups to share and create joint “interlocking” action plans and responses to the biggest issues.

The creation/rules:

• Must be apolitical

• Civilian management, but also incorporating members of DND, etc. and emergency response (those in the field)

• It must be mandated to create a physically working, operational document

• Must have the power to create its implementation, follow-up, assessment

• Must be an official part of our governments (provincial, regional, local), mandated and supported by our federal government

• Must be given legal powers embodied within our various charters and supported by our federal courts.

Just imagine, or even just suppose, this commission were functioning a few decades back and instituted response plans, mitigation strategies, and programming to address what has become the inevitable!

We know what prevents this type of action and planning, and putting responses needed to address all these major issues and events. It’s politics. That is why this must be mandated into law, so each four years it remains a sacrosanct, independent working commission. Yes, easier said than done. It would require us to think differently. For politicians to do the unthinkable, and put their agendas second and reelection last!

Steve Frankel